The Wages Crisis in Australia
What it is and what to do about it
edited by Andrew Stewart, Jim Stanford and Tess Hardy
FREE | 2018 | Ebook (PDF) | 978-1-925261-83-7 | 360 pp
The print edition is available from Federation Press. Please direct print edition inquiries to Federation Press firstname.lastname@example.org
I. THE PROBLEM
1. Australia, we have a problem
Jim Stanford, Tess Hardy and Andrew Stewart
2. Charting wage stagnation in Australia
3. Global perspectives on wage stagnation
Stephen Kinsella and John Howe
4. What's causing the wages slowdown?
Tess Hardy and Andrew Stewart
II. WAGE SETTING MECHANISMS AND INSTITUTIONS
5. Minimum wages
6. Gender pay equity
Sara Charlesworth and Meg Smith
7. Collective bargaining power
8. Public sector austerity and its spill-over effects
9. Contracting out community services, marketisation and wages
Fiona Macdonald and Michael Pegg
10. Executive remuneration in listed companies and wage setting
III. BUSINESS STRUCTURES AND VULNERABLE WORKERS
11. Fractured word
12. Wage theft and young workers
13. Temporary migrant workers, underpayment and predatory business models
14. Is there a wages crisis facing skilled temporary migrants?
IV. STAKEHOLDER PERSPECTIVES ON CAUSES, CONSEQUENCES, AND SOLUTIONS
15. A business perspective
16. A union perspective on the wages crisis and how to solve it
17. A community perspective: The human and social costs of wage stagnation
18. Young Australians and the disrupted economy
Annette Cairnduff, Kelly Fawcett and Nina Roxburgh
19. An investor perspective
Craig Shepherd and Penny Heard
V. FINDING SOLUTIONS
20. Conclusion: Wages and inclusive growth
Andrew Stewart, Jim Stanford and Tess Hardy
An overview of labour regulation in Australia
The persistence of weak wages growth in Australia, at a time when the state of the economy might suggest much better outcomes for workers, has baffled policy makers.
Andrew Stewart, Jim Stanford and Tess Hardy have drawn together expert analysts from business, universities, think tanks, community organisations and trade unions to answer four pressing questions: What is the wages crisis? Why is it happening? Why does it matter? And what should we do about it?
Written in non-technical terms for a general audience, the essays in this book offer many insights into one of Australia’s most pressing economic and social issues. They highlight the key point that wage stagnation is a problem with multiple causes and dimensions. It will not fix itself, but will need decisive policy action. In their conclusion, the editors set out their own views of what that might be.
'As the editors – Jim Stanford, Tess Hardy and Andrew Stewart – note, once the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) Governor, Dr Philip Lowe, encourages workers to demand higher wages, we do indeed have a problem.'
In his review, George Lafferty from Western Sydney University describes this timely book as one that 'opens up a range of complex, interconnected issues relevant to Australia’s wages crisis' by drawing 'on a diverse range of expert and stakeholder contributions'.